I currently use Allo DigiOne player and have been very impressed with the sound.
However I fancy a Christmas treat for myself and pondering the Node 2.
Does the Node 2 work flawlessly with Roon?
Does it work fully with RAAT? I’ve some other RAAT devices so keen to stick with it.
What about MQA content for Tidal? Does it fully support it? I don’t know much about MQA but read some stuff about Roon having issues with MQA in general? Something to do with unfolding?
And in general, anything I should know before spending the cash?
Thanks in advance
I think the Node 2 is a great bit of kit. We are still waiting for Bluesound to do a firmware update to cure an issue recognising MQA via Roon. It’s overdue. However, Tidal is well integrated into the BlueOs app and MQA is recognised fine via that route
Do we know if Bluesound is defo bringing out a cure for Roon and MQA? or just really hoping?
Bluesound have committed to the firmware change (July 19th):
This change requires us to go under the hood on how we do MQA. Not a small lift. It’s in the hopper.
The latest firmware released a few days ago did not yet have the updated RAAT SDK. When users expressed their disappointment:
To be fair, we implemented RAAT per spec, in fact exactly as requested. When Roon changed the spec to accommodate MQA on their platform we need to make significant changes to our implementation of MQA to accommodate Roon’s chosen methodology.
It is in progress, but isn’t ready for 2.14.
So, yes: it’s coming – but no telling when.
I have both the digione and the node 2. The node is a fantastic piece of kit, But depending on the dac you are using I prefer the digione feeding my Wyred4Sound DAC.
Yes ok thanks.
I currently have my DigiOne going straight into my AV pre-processor, it is an Anthem (AVM60) but I doubt it’s anywhere close to a dedicated DAC.
Is the DAC in the Node 2 any good? How does it compare to your Wyred4Sound DAC?
The W4S, to my ears, is a definite step up but so is the price. If I couldn’t afford the W4S I would still (happily) enjoy my music with the Node2.
It’s definitely worth having a listening test if you can, also checking out the Bluesound section on this forum. MQA implementation and, perhaps, some difficulties some users are having with grouping speakers via RAAT, are both awaiting an update by Bluesound to the version of RAAT they’re using. This is taking quite some time and, personally, has put me off buying more BS equipment at the moment.
That said, I have a Node 2 and a Flex. There’s loads of positive feedback about the DAC on the Node 2 around - personally I preferred the sound via an external DAC (Musical Fidelity MX-DAC) but that’s an entirely subjective experience.
Sounds like I might be better keeping my DigiOne and spending my money on a decent DAC instead?
Perhaps also depends on your main reason for looking at the Node and whether you’d make use of any of its other features?
That depends on your budget and your goal, the node2 is very good quality for your money. Also the node has some fine extra features like bluetooth, mqa.
I have a node 2, power node 2, pulse flex and pulse mini. So obviously I am already committed.
My personal view is that the BluOS is great hardware for the price and the software is super clunky. Of course nothing compares to Roon.
It also happens (in my opinion) that BluOS hardware is close to the cheapest entry point for a RAAT based system that is ~plug and play. So one can view their clunky BluOS software as a “side benefit” that only needs to be trotted out for certain music services.
I would say that BluOS is still in use in my house (and by my wife no less), so there is a benefit to the additional music services it brings… we use the radio services most.
To me I’d agree that resolving the final tweaks (MQA, some grouping peculiarities) is a reasonable price to pay if you aren’t a Raspberry Pi tinkerer… and you like the redundancy of a backup ecosystem to Roon (just in case… may it never come to pass). The problems do get fixed… just not on the timeframe we earlier adopters would like.
PS: As much as I gripe about BluOS inferiority to Roon, given my setup (Roon on my Mac, with 3 user profiles set…), sometimes opening the BluOS is the more reliable way to get music going quickly in my house. BluOS always works, so as long as I won’t be searching through their clunky app, I’ll use it… whereas Roon may not be open on the computer or the right profile won’t be logged in, which means I might have to take a trip downstairs to the computer… the horror
I’d also add that for $500 the DAC on the Node2 is pretty sweet and MQA capable (in BluOS NOW and as noted above, I think we can trust the BluOS guys to get it right eventually… they are true to their words with no known exception). I know there are better DACs out there, but then we are talking (likely) three boxes (Streamer-DAC-Amp) rather than two (Node-Amp) or one (Powernode).
And nothing stops upgrading and just using the Node as a streamer alone.
I too have a Node 2 and it works perfectly with Roon and as an added benefit I stream Spotify through it as well using Spotify Connect. The DAC sounds good, not awesome but my bar is pretty high as I have a Benchmark DAC2 HGC. I agree with Adam_B on the app. It’s clunky at best but as mentioned the only way for me to get MQA fully unfolded (24 bit/96Khz) is to use the app. In Roon I’ll get 24 bit/48Khz streaming to the Node 2 according to the readout on my DAC2. After some experimentation I honestly can’t really hear a difference in MQA sound quality via coming from Roon or from BluOS. I haven’t yet bought any of their speakers but I’ve heard good things.
For what it is worth, I am far more impressed with the Node as a DAC/streamer than I am with their speakers. The Flex is very convenient for kitchens or bathrooms, but after that I wouldn’t bother… you are (IMO) better off with the PowerNode and a decent set of bookshelves. The PowerNode is a solid contender for a small integrated amp/streamer/one-box-solution… better sounding than my NAD D3020. To me $700 + $300 is a far better spend for a secondary system than (for example) their full-sized Pulse. (but I don’t like one-box-speakers in general)
I’ve been using a DigiOne and a Node 2 simultaneously over the last months. I would rate them about equal in SQ using SPDIF out – both are good. They differ a bit – the Node is little flat, the DigiOne a bit overexcited in the highs in my system (Meridian DSP speakers via MiniDSP).
The Node 2 is probably the most fun audio box I’ve used – it’s like a Swiss army knife for digital audio:
- RoonReadiness is flawless
- Clean source switching is nice: start, say, a Spotify or TuneIn Radio stream while Roon is playing and Roon is paused automatically
- The analog/optical input can be set to auto sensing, so it auto switches as well – nice for adding the TV signal, or a Chromecast / Airport Express
- Remote learning means it can work with any remote, offering volume and track controls (play/pause/previous/next) even when playing from Roon
- The remote can also be set to five different presets (radio channels, playlists, etc.) – start your favourite radio station by pressing just one button
- The headphone amp and analog section are way better than they ought the be for the price. I’m not a big HP listener, but the Node did not make me miss my Mojo
- MQA from Tidal is nice (and will be available to Roon in time when Bluesound integrates the latest RoonReady SDK – it requires some extensive firmware changes outside Roon, but they have committed to the work, which is commendable)
That said – I’ve since replaced the Node with a Meridian MS200 streamer, which (again – in my system) offers silky smooth highs and better definition in the lows, while maintaining IR control and offering direct volume control of the speakers from within Roon (a Meridian thing). Yet I fondly remember the little black Node that could…
Funny how really personal this all is. I have both and I agree with @RBM, but I really like the ‘overexcitement’ of the DigiOne (into a W4S dac). So I would call the Node2 too flat. That said the Node 2 is really a very good swiss army knife.
I will probably buy a Brooklyn+ as well, if only to get a better understanding of what I like. Maybe I find the Node2 better than the DigiOne when feeding the Brooklyn, who knows?
By all means, let us know.
I found that the Node benefitted a bit from adding an iFi SPDIF Purifier, where it didn’t do much for the DigiOne. Oh well.
Can’t remember, is your system WiFi or Ethernet?
Wired all over.
Just the Pulse 2 in the bedroom is wireless – because it works and because I’m too lazy to tape off the network lights. There’s a cable right next to it.